UNDERSTANDING YOGA: Part 01

August 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Yoga and You, Yogacara Blog

What makes us different from other species that exist in parallel to us is that we possess the ability to answer questions related to us and our surroundings. But this intelligence has somehow stopped us from thinking that to get the right answers, the right questions need to be asked. Today many people can answer how yoga is beneficial for the body. But interestingly most of cannot answer what yoga truly is. Ok! Lets us begin with a small set of questions:

  1. Where did yoga come from?
  2. What is the meaning of the word yoga?
  3. Which is the text that deals with the earliest elements of yoga?
  4. Which language is the text written in?
  5. How old do you think is yoga as a practice?

Well if you do not know the answers to the above questions then think a little!! are you among the thousands people who pack their bags, roll up their mats and practice yoga every day all across the globe just because it in vogue or because a lot of celebs do it?.Question yourself. Is it possible to bake a delicious cake without knowing the ingredients that go into making it? Is it possible to read this article if you do not know the language. Much in the same way it is important to understand the elements which combine to form this beautiful art called YOGA .The true essence of yoga lies in understanding and absorbing it mentally and spiritually. To categorize yoga as just a physical practice is a crime against the beautiful art. The reason for this line of thought is the various mutants of yoga that have cropped up in the recent years. One does not mean that forms like hip-hop Yoga or power yoga are in any way bad but if one does not understand the history purpose and aims of yoga in its simples and generic form then it is impossible to reap the benefits of the new and contemporary forms of it. To begin with one needs to know what yoga is. It is not just a medium to remain physically active or fit. Yoga should be perhaps seen as a key to unlock a world where physical health and mental tranquility are not mere dreams. It is generally believed that the birth and practice of rudimentary forms of yoga predates recorded history but the Indian text which is considered to be the source of this elixir is sage Patanjali’s YOGA SUTRAS believed to have been composed and compiled in 2nd century BC. The work is divided into 4 Sections, called Padas in Sanskrit, which are as follows:

 

  1. Samadhi pada: – this section is composed of 51 sub sections called Sutras. This section outlines the problems a person faces in life in the form of evils deeds, material enticements and other worldly desires. It focuses on ways to harness the inherent energies to be able to understand the next section.
  2.  Sadhana pada: – this section which is composed of 55 sutras deals with the dynamics of the obstacles mentioned in the first section. It identifies individual problems that do not allow one to reach the final stage and aim of yoga which isUNION.
  3. Vibhuti pada: – this section of the text arrays around the reader the results of constant yoga practice. Vibhuti is a Sanskrit word which means “manifestation or residue”. Composed of 56 sub sections this section delineates the forms in which a person strives towards the ultimate union after practicing yoga.
  4. Kaivalya pada: – this section is composed of 34 sub sections and deals with the ultimate goal of Yoga i.e. detachment. By detachment one does not refer to moral or emotional detachment but trying to free oneself from the pain that one feels after looking or experiencing the inevitable cycle of death birth and rebirth.

So it becomes very critical to know the secrets behind an art that we are following. What is being done in the world today is just a part of the entire process of yoga called “asana” which means positions. One should note that to understand yoga to its minutest details one should try to understand the elementary words of Sanskrit because the translation of a work to another language always results in a residual loss of essence which can make all the difference in understanding and adapting the work to the fullest. For more information about Yoga and its understanding watch out the same space. You will not have to search the internet or read inscriptions for the same. We will deliver everything to you. From the right yogic positions to the anecdotes which make yoga not only fun to do but great fun to read too!!

 

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo  credits: asterix611 ( www.flickr.com)

The Magic of Music

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living, Yogacara Blog

Working in the office trying to complete a presentation on time, when you hear Andrea Bocelli’s “Besame Mucho” you feel relaxed. Much in the same manner Mark Knopfler holding his guitar singing his magnum opus song “Sultans of swing” stirs the repressed desires of becoming rockers when in college. Such is the power of music. It can take you back to the good old school days and can even take you ten years ahead into the future.

Music has been with us since our inception. Whether the birds around us or the waves crashing into the rocks, the almighty has made sure that we are constantly surrounded by music in one form or the other. But just for the record one of the earliest known forms of music that we developed rationally was deeply ingrained in Indian culture and religion. The practice of appeasing gods by chanting hymns and couplets is an ancient tradition. Simply chanting the word “OM” is a deeply ingrained practice of every Indian household. The Vedas, which were and still are the most revered sources to study Indian cultural practices prescribe a certain way to sing and chant different hymns or Mantras as they call it depending on the beats of the heart and other bodily processes. Such has been the success of these stipulations that even after many thousand years of their inception countries like Germany and Singapore are carrying out detailed researches trying to garner more information about the depth of music and its powers.

Music has the power to relax, heal and unite. Talking about its therapeutic powers music is now being used to:

  1. Treat patients of acute depression and other neurological problems.
  2. Music has also shown its powers by wielding its healing powers over Alzheimer’s patients.
  3. Many nursing mothers are adopting a new habit of making their newly born and in some cases even unborn kids listen to soothing music.
  4. Music has also shown to have restored movements in many paralytic patients across the globe

Some western instauration refuses to give any credibility to the efficacy to this magical form. Despite 15% of the American hospitals using music therapy as an integral part of their treatment procedures the other institutions are not ready to include this therapy in corpus of conventional medicine.

Music comes with its own body of scientific thought. Many scientists cum musicians believe that the sound and songs that we feel connected to are the ones which address and redress our emotions and issues respectively. But how does music manage to do the aforementioned task? Well it is presently conjectured that when a vibration of music resonates inside our body and matches the frequencies of our bodily processes like the heart beat or the blood flow, we feel that connection. Therefore to say that music is just a conjunction of sweet sounds is an extremely inharmonious (irony intended!) view towards the art. Although we do not wish to preach or indoctrinate non musical minds we just wish to give their parched brains a taste of the musical elixir. So do not remain impervious to the darts of music, because music is not just a blessing, its a bliss!!

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo  credits: notorious d.a.v.www.flickr.com)

SMILE: To Set Yourself Free

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living, Yogacara Blog

The family lines up; the photographer makes some changes to the lineup and then says “SMILE”. Everybody in the family show their glistening white pearls and then comes the sound of the shutter “click” and the moment is captured forever. Even after many years that photograph possesses the magic to usher smiles on the faces of the people looking at it. All the things in this world are transient. But what lasts are memories and the good memories always stay locked in some hidden corner of our hearts waiting to unleash a rapturous enchantment upon us in times of dejection.

We succumb to the forces of nature and end up in the heap of dust from which we were made. But we leave a part of ourselves here on earth.  So why not leave something lovely? A smile is the perfect solution to all the problems in life. Just imagine when a mother is exhausted because her baby is bubbling food out and the baby smiles, the mother forget all the messy misery and smiles with the baby. Just imagine when a nervous bride receives a comforting smile from her father at the altar, she warms up for a long life ahead. In the nutshell a smile is like a warm ray emitted from a heat source that reaches a cold and frail person.

Smiling is the key to emotional elevation which can be indirectly involved in improving physical health as well. But since we are surrounded by so many worries i.e. from worrying about increasing fuel prices to feeling blue due to a lost credit card, the art of smiling has somewhat evaporated from our lives. Here are a few ways we can add a smiley twist to our smile deprived lives:

  1. Smile when you are angry: it is best to allow a mild smile to overpower the harshness of anger. So smile when you are angry, say 1, 2, 3 eeeeeeeee!!!!(Yes that’s how u should smile; all out!!)
  2. Celebrate a “smiley” day: this one is for the over organized management freaks who write down everything in their event planner. Put down date in your planner and celebrate it as the smiley day. Make sure to smile during the entire day and spread the message as well.
  3. Gift smiles: on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries gift each other smiles. A creative way to do it would be to actually wear funny masks to the occasion and shout smile whenever u fell the need to do it.
  4. Take it to the next level: if you are already bored of smiling subtly then take it to the next level by getting rid of all inhibitions and laughing your heart loud. It lowers blood pressure and gives your facial muscles a free workout as well!!

What is most interesting to note is the weight of science that can be associated with smiling. We spend hundreds of dollars on expensive beauty treatments and despite that search for the ultimate glow. Do we ever look inside ourselves for that glow? Do we explore the recesses of our mind and heart? Or to put it in simple terms, do we smile? What is the science behind a smile?

  1. Smiling actually helps release endorphins in our body which in everyday language can be called the “feel good hormones”.
  2. It also improves the efficiency of the heart and lowers cortisol levels of the body which in turn reduce stress.
  3. Smiling can also intensify our happiness and change our perspective. Try laughing a bit before you actually read a joke and see the difference!!

It doesn’t matter if it’s a phony smile or a genuine smile or an innocent smile. A smile is just a smile. So you should always remember. To smile is to be happy; to smile is to love and most importantly to smile is to live. Keep smiling because live is not just to exist but to LIVE!!

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo  credits: Mallu2007 ( www.flickr.com)

Eat together to stay together

August 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living, Yogacara Blog

Who knew that tandoori chicken would fly half way across the globe to become the most arbitrarily chosen dish in United Kingdom? Who knew that Ronald McDonald would be happily selling hamburgers on a crowded street in India? Whether it is KFC or Indian chicken curry, food is one thing that has the power to disintegrate the social cultural and geographical walls, only to make the world seem smaller and tastier of course.

Today our dining tables have become demi cultural centers exhibiting delicacies spanning across a vast geographical extent. But why does food become such an important aspect of one’s identity? It’s simple. Just like Europeans were born with cheese and their eating culture testifies the same, Indians who were born with various spices carry the aroma of the same spices wherever they take their food. The potency of food lies not in the taste but in the process of its consumption. There is nothing better than sitting on a dining table sharing food and thoughts at the same time. The contemporary life wreaking havoc on our daily schedules leaves us no time for sitting and savoring the culinary abilities of our loved ones. What is important is to try and make eating lunch, dinner or even sipping tea a well connected affair. By eating together one does not only fill the “growling” tummy but also nurtures the mind to understand and re-connect with other people. Have we ever thought, why did daddy ask you to eat at the dining table rather than munching away to glory sitting lazily on your couch? Because he wanted to see you and ask you about your math test gone wrong or your first football match. In the nutshell he wanted to spend time with you. Thus it was the dining table which helped you both come and operate at the same plain. Food thus assumed a very important role for you and your family to come together. But today eating food has become just like a stop that you make in an unending journey to re fuel your car. You do not pay attention to what you and when you eat because there is just a minute left for the lunch break to get over. Eating slowly has lots of advantages. Many studies carried out by nutritionists around the world suggest that eating slowly helps in the following ways:

  1. Lose weight:  it is said that our brain takes 20 minutes to register the point when we are actually full. So eating very fast doesn’t necessarily fill us up quicker. On the contrary it does not allow the brain to register the point where we are full thus making us overeat. But by eating slowly we give the brain enough time to tell the body that it doesn’t need more. One can lose close to 20 pounds or more a year, just by eating slowly.
  2. Better digestion: by chewing our food at a slower rate we allow our food to be digested in a better way, thus reducing our tummy labor making it feel nice and light.
  3. Better absorption: the food chewed well and digested slowly is absorbed in a better way and contributes towards the development of the body.
  4. Inhibits appetite: if food is digested well it gives us more energy. On the flipside food not chewed and digested well passes through the body and finally exits it without any advantages leaving us feeling hungry and unsatiated.

So make an effort to sit together for at least one meal a day, discuss the day, plan your vacations over the dining table and you will see the difference in yourself. You will feel happier, sharper and smarter. What is most essential is to understand that while eating together one does not only exchange bowls across the table but also exchanges values thoughts and ideas which are the most important ingredients for a tastier life. When you eat together and smile together, you grow together. The bonds of love mature more over the dining table than any other place. So next time your mother, father, husband or wife calls you to the table to share a snack, forget about the all important Manchester united game or the new episode of desperate housewives and pounce on the opportunity to share food and share time. We take so much pain to earn our bread and butter. It is time to start enjoying it!!

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo credits: tuis on flickr.

ACUPUNCTURE: Magical Needles

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living, Yogacara Blog

Just like an innocent handkerchief, which is otherwise a symbol of domesticity, became the harbinger of doom for Shakespeare’s Othello, a needle plays many different roles in our lives today. It is every homemaker’s weapon of mass construction and every tattoo artist’s brush. A baby cries at the sight of the needle when he goes for his first injections, but the same baby takes immense pleasure in popping big balloons using the same needle on his birthday.

Therefore the word “needle”, as the name suggests is one of the most “needed” (pun intended) article at home. The best example of the importance of needles can be easily seen in the ancient traditional practice of acupuncture.

The word acupuncture is formed by combining two Latin terms namely “acus” meaning needles and “punctura” meaning insertion or penetration. Just like many other alternative therapies like ayurveda and yoga, acupuncture is a reminder of the vast knowledge of the east. China, where this practice originated is as prominent on the world map as USA or any other country for that matter. In ancient China the human body was considered to be formed of channels through which energy could be absorbed and liberated. The key to understanding the dynamics behind the process of acupuncture is the concept of yin and yang. According to the Chinese the human body had two types of energies flowing through it namely the “yan” which is the positive energy flowing in the body and the “Yin” which is its systematic counterpart. Acupuncture aims to restore the balance between the respective energies and helps the body get rid of many problems like asthma, cholesterol and even infertility.

The Chinese also believed that the human body had certain points which corresponded with their astronomical readings. Although there are no structured researches which prove the existence of these acupuncture points but the contrary has also not been proven. But what has been proven is that acupuncture affects many other parts and processes of the body. It affects the lymph nodes, cholesterol and sugar levels along with triglyceride. By applying pressure to certain points on the body acupuncture helps in strengthening and balancing the vital energy of the body making it one of the most loved of all the alternate medicine practices. The last decade has seen the renaissance of this practice. People are not only resorting to this practice in their efforts to adopt a drug free life but are taking their pets to the practitioners of this ancient art. Even after 5000 thousand years of its birth acupuncture has not received many changes. The modern form of acupuncture still utilizes the same 649 pressure points that have been systematically listed by the members of the Tisn dynasty (618-917 A.D). It’s just that needles of sticks and stones have been replaced by sterilized titanium and in some cases even gold and silver.

In the last decade acupuncture has developed as a practice that can be used for the following purposes:

  1. To alleviate pain
  2. To reduce weight
  3. To treat asthma
  4. To treat infertility
  5. To quit smoking
  6. For facial rejuvenation
  7. To prevent back pain
  8. To help arthritis patients
  9. To strengthen the immune system
  10. To calm the nervous system

This traditional Chinese medicine is becoming so popular these days that many insurance companies around the world are covering acupuncture procedures in their policies. Maybe next time before you take a pain killer, explore the alternative way to ease the pain and reap the benefits of the age old Chinese tradition.

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo credits: ggvic on flickr.

Summer Superslimmers

When the refrigerators are lined up with berry coolers we know it time for the summer season to take over. The season is synonymous with fun, frolic and food. Unlike winter during which most of the time is spent indoors as a result of that the options on the food menu at home is limited, the summer season lays down a vast array of options in front of us to savoir.

You can treat yourself to an unending variety of drinks, coolers, snacks and desserts during the sunny summer days. But with so many options forcing us to gravitate towards the tastier foods, it is very important to control our tasty instincts and get hold of healthy choices. It’s important to be in harmony with the season to reap the benefits of good health. You should avoid gorging on cheesy pastas and stay closer to lighter foods like beans and broccoli. Summer time is the best to lose the extra pounds you always wished to. Losing weight does not necessarily mean sweating yourself out in the gym or starving yourself to death to achieve the desired fitness levels. The most important thing to remember is to eat right. Unlike the present trend losing weight is not about eating less but eating right. Many doctors and dieticians say that by not eating for longer periods we do ourselves more harm than good. So, always remember to eat right food, right portions and at the right time.

There are many summer foods out there which are more effective than any fitness centre around you. There are many foods which help you lose weight albeit not by burning your extra fat off, but in a very different manner. Such foods are called negative calorie foods. They are called so because the body uses up more calories to absorb these foods than the calories these foods return. For example, a negative calorie food “A” takes up 150 calories during the digestion process and returns 120 calories to the body, it ends up reducing 30 calories from the body thus resulting in a net loss of weight. The following fruits and vegetables are the best negative calorie foods: celery, carrots, garlic, lettuce, apples, grapefruits, oranges, pineapples, lemons and mangos.

Remember listed below tips this summer:

1. Celery: a cup of celery (120gms) contains only 19 calories and the number of calories burnt during the process of cooking and eating celery is much more than 19, so it keeps you full and silently takes the accumulated calories away.

2. Onions: a cup of onions not only 64 calories but many anti-cancer agents. So grilling onions along with other veggies like lettuce, bell peppers and zucchini and eating them like kebabs really fills you up and also kills the calories.

3. Fruits: during summer season fruits like grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, blueberries and cucumbers (yes cucumber is a fruit!!! A brother of the sweet melon) should be your best friends. All these fruits have a high water content making them low calorie but high volume fruits.

4. Cheat your way to health: by following a specific way and order of eating can help you cut down on your calorie intake. By consuming a high volume low calorie soup like cucumber-dill or gazpacho (whacky name right?) you can cheat your tummy into believing that you are pretty full and thus reduce your tasty high calorie food intake.

5. Water : although water does not provide you the important nutrients but it does take up some calories to get absorbed in the body, so stay away from the sodas and gulp down at least 2.5 liters of water a day to keep your skin glowing, system rehydrated and your metabolism perfect.

6. Patience: this is the most effective negative calorie food you have on the menu. It is important to understand that results will not be achieved overnight. You have to follow the above mentioned steps religiously to reach your destination of  “lessland”.

So this summer do not pay attention to the brochures of all the fancy diet or fitness centers which have you gravitating towards them by exploiting your desperate need to look in shape in time for your 35th anniversary or your beach vacation to Australia!! Just eat right to feel light.

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo credits: Randal Droher and  churl on flickr.

An Ode to Motherhood

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Artists Showcase


An angel once asked god “oh lord! What are you making?”

God answered “I am making a mother.”

So the angel asked again “my lord! What is a mother?”

And this is what god said:

“Since I cannot be everywhere, I am made a mother.

She is the one, who suffers the pain of birth,

Only to bring a new life to earth.

Her bosom is warm when it’s cold outside,

It’s where you can keep your secrets safely inside.

She doesn’t need words to speak,

Her eyes give you strength when you are meek.

The touch of her hand is the best life insurance,

Which gives you full cover without a premium.

She infantilizes you even when you become a dad,

Even then when you come home late, she gets mad.

She can touch your face to assure you of your weight loss,

And can barge into your office even when you’re the boss.

The pillows in the house reek of her,

The smell of her wet hair keeps the evil at bay.

A magical hug from her helps you find the right way.

She is the lighthouse in the storm that protects from the rocks,

She has tears in her eyes when the baby walks.

She can’t remember she herself is how old,

Only to remember when did you have your first cold.

So remember to give her some of the love back,

Because a mother is tireless and can never lack.”

The angel had tears in her eyes and said “oh lord! I wish I could have a mother too, who

Could love me like you just said.”

And then came god’s final reply “we aren’t that lucky dear, a mother is not god, not human, a mother

is magic”.

By Shiv Verma

This poem is brought to you by yogacarashop.com, your source of life style women’s clothing inspired by yoga.

Pamper your feet

July 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living

When an Indian youngster touches the feet of his mother, father or any other elder in the house, he hopes to be showered with the blessings of health and wealth.

mwrobison

The act is like a protocol that has developed in India over the course of centuries. What is interesting to note is that even in the 21st century where an infant can teach his grandfather how to operate an iphone this tradition is crystallized to almost perfection in India. Feet have always been an important part of Indian culture. In every Indian household one can see two small feet made of either gold or silver placed just outside the place of worship. This is because feet have always been the insignia of movement which in turn is a symbol of growth and prosperity.

With the modern day forces wreaking havoc on our joints whether it is from typing long documents to walking great lengths to reach office, our lower bodies especially our knees and feet have become our most neglected parts. We do not take care of our feet like the way we treat our eyes or skin. We do take chocolate baths to pamper our skin and place cucumber slices on our eyes to treat water bags below them but never pay attention to our pretty feet. It’s time that we look into the demands of our feet and keep them happy as well because just like eyes, on glance at a person’s “heels” can tell us what he feels. Chapped and cracked heels are a sign of a languid and negligent person. These are a few tips to keep your feet happy and healthy:

  1. The most important thing to remember is that the best time to relax and pamper yourself is the night as you have the necessary amount of time at your disposal, so begin the pampering in the night.
  2. Feet are very easy to please, so, a bucket of warm water with a little salt can really help sore feet.
  3. Scrubbing your feet is also important to get rid of the dead skin, thus allowing your feet to breathe.
  4. A regular rub of moisturizer is very important.
  5. Apply a pack. Foot pack could be sandal powder, a little milk tomato paste and egg white. Allow this to dry for fifteen minutes and then lightly massage it off.
  6. An invigorating and intensive foot therapy with thousands of “Fish” doctors taking care of you is also inviting. In this new form of feet revolution thousands of “garra rufa” fish nibble at your feet, eating small particles dead skin doing exactly what a scrubber does but with an added element of excitement and blanching of faces for some.alles-schlumpf
  7. You can also apply a mixture of honey, rosemary oil and peppermint oil to your damp feet and leave it overnight to see your feet thanking you like never before.
  8. There is nothing more uplifting than a true pressure massage. Getting a Thai foot massage once a month can really improve blood circulation thus helping you walk towards a better life.

Our feet are not just a combination of 26 bones, 33 joints, 46 ligaments and more than a hundred muscles but something way more important. So go ahead, ask your husband or wife to take you to a massage parlor and switch off your mind from the constant activity that your body especially your feet goes through every day and just pamper them till they can truly be called “happy feet”.

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo credits: mwrobison and  alles-schlumpf on flickr.

HIP-HOP YOGA might be perfect for you

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Yoga and You, Yogacara Blog

“A photographer gets people to pose for him.  A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves”.

~Terri Guillemets

If there is one word that has become an important part of the modern day dictionary, it is “option”. The 21st century offers to us an unending list of choices. These options whether in the areas of business, sports or even something as trivial as social networking have evolved with scintillating pace over the last decade due to creative pioneers in every field. One of those fields that have been revamped by the very pioneers aforementioned is yoga.

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With facebook replacing football, our priorities and affiliations have changed over the last decade. We see many young people fighting the same old battle of survival. What have changed are the magnitude and the rules of the game. Unlike our grandparents we do not have the time to sit and introspect and try and foresee life plans for the next ten years. Today’s life is a receptacle of extremes which can be seen from the fat salary packages to the even fatter hospital bills. What we have learnt is the art of managing these extremes by finding the calmer waters of yoga and meditation.

“YOGA” or “YOG” is not just an ancient Indian practice confined to the jungles of ancient India but one of the most cosmopolitan forms of workout routines which can be seen in the plush lanes of Manhattan. Contrary to popular interpretations yoga is not just a practice of body postures known as “asana” but an ideology in itself, which strives towards helping a person attain total mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Ancient Indian gurus commonly known as “yogis” (someone who knows a lot about yoga) considered man’s journey to eternal bliss a 3 fold process. They believed that happiness had a hierarchy too with mental being at the apex followed by emotional and physical. This comes as revelation for those people who till now believed that “Yoga” or “yog” was just a physically oriented practice. But despite it spreading like wildfire to almost each and every country in the world within a very short period of time, it has started to lose its sheen. The reason for the same can be seen in the words of many young people practicing it. They often snub it as “boring”. And yes, sitting in front of an instructor badgering you with multiple instructions on how to do “surya namaskar” (greeting the sun), the right way can be physically rejuvenating but sometimes mentally tiresome. This is how a new wave of yoga called “HIP- HOP” yoga has been developed over the last 5 or 6 years. It contains all the quintessential elements of yoga as a whole but with a modern twist. This form has done away with the concept of silent absorption of instructions. On the contrary by giving yoga and its students a rhythmic structure to follow HIP-HOP yoga has eliminated the word “boring” from the yogic dictionary.

With live DJs replacing accompanying the wise old yogi to class at a nightclub at 1 Leicester square in London, HIP- HOP yoga has revolutionized the concept of yoga as a whole. Unlike its elder brother which attracted middle aged and elderly men and women, the registers of a HIP-HOP yoga center are filled with the names of young and enthusiastic dancers who leave the streets and give their talent a more definite shape. By associating a set of peppy beats with the existing values of yoga, the efficiency of the process increases. But when these two forms are combined their calorie busting powers also unite to give us some shocking results, a glimpse of which can be seen in the table below:

TYPE OF EXERCISE:                      CALORIES BURNT (PER H)

YOGA (AVG OF ALL FORMS)                         496

HIP-HOP (AVG OF ALL FORMS)                   450

HIP-HOP YOGA                                                   623

Thus this new age hybrid yoga, with a twist of modern hip-hop and the benefits of flexibility, strength, focus, expression and most importantly inner balance is nothing less than a dream car with the speed of Ferrari and the strength of an old school American muscle car. It burns calories and increases flexibility with an added element called “FUN”.

This article is brought to you by YogacaraShop.com – your source for special Yoga Apparel, yoga inspired clothing, comfort clothing clothing designed according to the Colors of the Chakras and the best trendy, high quality and comfortable  Fitness Apparel do visit YogacaraShop.com

Photo credits: aquababe on flickr.

Nature’s fascinating gift – HONEY

July 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Inspired Living

Honey, the golden drops made in heaven is the sweetest reminder of nature’s astonishing power of procreation. The dense golden liquid, often called liquid gold is not just the official currency of the natural world but an important part of our lives as well.

Tie Guy II

For centuries honey has been placed at the apex of the list of best nature’s gifts. Honey is formed when bees collect nectar from flowers and mix it with special enzymes. What sets honey apart from things like cane sugar and starches is the fact that it is a predigested product as a result of which it is easy on the stomach and saves it from digestive labor. It contains two invert sugars namely laevulose and dextrose as a result of which it is considered as the single most effective element to generate, create and replace energy and furthermore form certain tissues.

The list of benefits that associated with honey is endless. With vitamins like B1, B2, C, B5, B6 and B3 all of which change with respect to the quality of pollen and nectar, honey has anti – allergic and anti -septic properties. From treating local allergies to treating a cut honey has one of the widest spectrums of medical benefits.

In Europe honey has been used to help cure ulcers and to treat rheumatic fever and neuritis. As a beauty product honey has passed the text of time. It is one of the few products that in its purest form can be used everywhere from hair on our heads to the nails on our toes. Following is a list of some of the many magical properties of honey:

  1. Honey mixed with ground almond is an excellent exfoliating face scrub.
  2. It works very well on chapped lips because of its moisturizing properties.
  3. Honey is a universal skin toner and soother and works well for all skin types.
  4. Honey’s healing powers soften hands and even cure fungal infections.
  5. One of the latest uses of honey is seen in the dental industry where it is being used as a mouth washing agent.
  6. Mixing honey with some beaten eggs softens scalp and even prevents dandruff.
  7. But most importantly honey is an extremely powerful element that helps prevent cancer.

As a result of these properties, bees are passive contributors to the economies of many countries like India and Nepal, where the honey industry employs thousands of people, and the art of beekeeping is carefully passed on from generation to generation. It is said that to make one jar of honey a single bee has to traverse the length equal to three times of that of the equator, therefore a bee is a considered to be a symbol of a hardworking and industrious community.

Often called the “drink of the gods,” honey is a symbol of true sweetness in an age dominated by preserved foods and artificial sweeteners. This is why the most romantic period in a couple’s life is called the “honeymoon,” which symbolizes the sweetest time in their lives. What can be sweeter than honey?

Photo credits: Tie Guy II on flicr.

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